A lot of life happens when you’re on a treadmill.
Yesterday, I was in the gym, watching some car race on the television. A man (M) and woman (W) joined me on the treadmills and they were talking about work. I don’t want you to think I eavesdrop on everyone’s conversations but the treadmills are close to each other and these peoples’ voices were loud. The conversation went something like this:
M: Apparently, Joey didn’t tell his wife that Marcia was going on the same business trip and they hooked up while they were in Memphis.
W: What do you mean, “hooked up?”
M: They went out for drinks after the meetings and one thing led to another…
W: But Joey’s married.
M: Yah, he knows he made a mistake. It was just a mistake.
W: (the woman was really quiet for a few minutes.) What happened to the word, “sin”? How come when anyone does anything wrong, it’s just merely a mistake?
M: You need to chill out. It’s wasn’t a big deal.
W – It IS a big deal. It’s sin. These days, it just seems like calling any behavior a sin – is a sin.
M: You need to exercise more.
Interesting conversation, right? In my mind, this treadmill-running woman was right on. In our culture today, people no longer sin; they make mistakes. Lance Armstrong uses performance-enhancing supplements, denies all allegations for years, destroys many peoples lives, gets caught and reluctantly owns up to having made a mistake. Students plagiarize on assignments and cheat on exams but strategically label it a mere violation of policy. Politicians commit adultery and instead of coming forth with full truth, they explain their behavior away with something like, “it was a serious error in judgment.” Stealing diffuses into reallocation of funds, lying is watered down to stretching the truth, laziness is just kickin’ back and pride is knowing what you want and going to get it, no matter what.
Somehow, we have lost sight of the biblical meaning of sin. We sin by what we do, ( 1 John 5.17) how we think (Matthew 15.17-20) and what we say. (Ephesians 4.26) We can also sin by what we don’t do. (James 4.17)
Make no mistake – we sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3.23. NIV